Inspiring school in Harlem: what if we grounded ourselves in our bodies from early on? 
One of the most inspiring parts of the Transformative Learning conference at Columbia U this year was a visit that we arranged to the Thurgood Marshall Lower School in Harlem. Wow. These students practice gratitude, compassion, checking in to their feelings, reflection, meditation daily. They even have classroom charters grounded in how they want to feel. These have extended to even family charters. When I asked Cameron, our 7 year old guide and peer mediator what he liked about the school he told me" I like that we share our confidences." Gulp. Imagine a world full of these practices? This is what meditation can be, I believe. An ability to be in step with ourselves so we can be in step with others.







Not Perfect and Toppling Colonialism 
Rebecca Thomas has been an inspiring Poet Laureate. Perhaps one of the most touching and historical moments in Halifax was the removal of the Cornwallis statue last weekend. Click on the link below to hear her poem that moved Councillors to vote for the removal. Social norms and what we sanction can be changed slowly if we keep, as Rebecca says, "tough skin and soft hearts." Also such a powerful reminder of the role of art in our collective imagination.
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Self-actualization through dance- conflict is vital 
Met an inspiring dancer/professor, Jo Blake, at a meditation/yoga retreat in Nepal. He uses dance and movement in community. He introduced me to Crystal Pite who also uses dance and theatre to work through trauma, freedoms, self-actualization. I've really come to realize, in my work, that these forms and explorations are so critical to our collective analysis and action. The spaces it opens for connection, healing. We are somatic, individually and collectively.
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Hyang Cho  
Cho's work is so provocative and inspiring. Erasure. Text. Trial. Check it out at the link below.
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Our HRM Alliance- Greenbelting and Complete Communities 
WRWEO, the environmental association that I Co-chair is an active member of Our HRM Alliance. Comprised now of 54 local groups and organizations, Our HRM Alliance accompanied and lobbied the Halifax regional planning process that took place over the last few years. The Alliance has adopted a two-pronged approach to going forward:

1. Greenbelting (including an initiative for people to hike, bike, canoe the greenbelt around HRM to explore its possibility)

2. Complete communities. Suburbs are not the problem. If suburban communities are built with transit at their core, walkable design, and a mix of shops and other business, they can encourage healthier lifestyles and produce considerably less emissions.

The problem is single-use, low-density sprawl. When communities are built in a way that makes cars the only option for doing every single task of the day, they engender enormous costs.


See the related link below for more detail including our own David Patriquin's brief on the impact that green belting will have on biodiversity.
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